A Grandmillennial style patio. Picture: Instagram.
A Grandmillennial style patio. Picture: Instagram.

Grandmillennial style is the granny-chic decor trend that's taking over homes

By Sacha van Niekerk Time of article published Mar 11, 2020

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Grandmillennial is the granny-chic style of decor that’s fast becoming one of the biggest inspirations for people in their mid-20s and 30s.

The mish mash of old and new - plush velvet armchairs and chic brass furnishings muddled with pleated lamp shades and needle-point wall hangings - define Grandmillennial decor. 

House Beautiful claims that the style was born from people in their mid-20s to late-30s’ attraction to design trends considered by mainstream culture to be kitsch or outdated. 

Antique ornaments. Picture: Instagram.

Thrift stores, garage sales, antique markets, heirlooms and hand-me-downs are a Grandmillennial’s paradise. It’s a way of tying together unique pieces made with craftsmanship that no longer exists in the department stores we so often frequent today. 

Keeping things up to date, this generation continues trend hunting on Instagram, Pinterest and through peeking into the lives of celebrities on reality television. As a result, the look is freshened up with modern fixtures, expensive artisanal furniture and artwork, creating the perfect balance between current and nostalgic.

Interior designer Ariel Okin, explained to House Beautiful that, “‘Grandmillennial’ is really a ‘New Traditionalist’—someone who has an appreciation for the past. 

It’s someone who references the work of legendary designers like Billy Baldwin and Nancy Lancaster and Albert Hadley, who realises the staying power of good, well-edited design while putting their own fresh spin on it to make it feel updated and unique.”

How to get the look:

Mix old with new

Trendy velvet chairs in  contrast with the vintage appeal of framed paintings. Picture: Instagram.

Whether it’s black and white framed photographs pilfered from your parents display or a refurbished cabinet picked up at an antique store, there are so many ways to bring in the vintage aspect of this trend. Then, simply tie that in with whatever’s currently trending and tickles your fancy. 

Wallpaper

Pretty floral wallpaper. Picture: Instagram.

Bringing in a variety of colour and pattern is a major aspect of this decor style. Wallpaper is the perfect way to achieve this as it ranges in texture and design allowing you to find the right fit for your home and liven up dull spaces into areas of interest. If you opt for the more traditional patterns, you’ll immediately transform your home into a bygone era. 

Maximalism

Clashing colours, textures, patterns and trends come together to create maximalist decor. Picture: Instagram.

In 2020, more is more. We're leaving behind the bare and the basic by embracing a sensibility of excess and textural overload, according to an article by The Spruce. 

However, getting this right is a major balancing act between eclecticism and more intentional design. To make sure that your interiors still feel connected even with a mix of materials, fabrics, colours, patterns and textures, finding a common connection between pieces can help connect the dots and tie everything together.

Pattern

The more pattern, the merrier. Picture: Instagram.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns - or go all out and subtly incorporate the same style throughout the home. From the print around the rim of your teacups to the scatter cushions on your couch, anything can be given a touch of grandmillennial flair. 

Chic clutter

Furniture, rugs, wall hangings, ornaments etc. etc. look cluttered but in a chic way. Picture: Instagram.

Grandmillennial encompasses the look of organised chaos. It’s the layering of intricate baroque mirrors, a gallery of artwork and photographs with mismatched frames, covering faded rose bud wallpaper. Then, a shelf of books and a cabinet full of frilly porcelain plates adding character to the home. Although the vivid colours, shapes and patterns may be overkill for some, most items are handpicked, hold meaning and add value to the home. 

Maintaining the “old”

A 70s bathroom maintained for its uniqueness. Picture: Instagram.

A lot of older homes have very quirky features in them that only add to their charm. Whether it’s in the form of elaborate crown mouldings, stained glass windows, grannyish wall tiles in the kitchen, try not to disturb the uniqueness by scrapping the aspects that look dated. 

Instead, work around them, add fresh coats of paint where needed and freshen things up with a good polish and deep clean. In the end, you’ll still be able to bring contemporary touches to the mix without  destroying its beauty.

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